|Attorney Arias in custody in the Dominican Republic
José Augusto Stoute Arias, a prominent Panamanian attorney, has been extradited to Panama from the Dominican Republic, on money laundering charges. He was taken into custody on an INTERPOL warrant, upon orders of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, It is not known whether he is wanted in connection with any of the pending criminal cases against former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli. The defendant is from a prominent Panamanian family.
What is curious about this case is that money laundering prosecutions are extremely rare in Panama, and those cases which are brought are usually filed for partisan political reasons.
The Dominican Republic, with its rampant corruption, has in recent years become the jurisdiction of choice for criminals or corrupt politicians fleeing problems in Panama. Fraudsters in particular find the Dom Rep attractive.